For those of you who have not heard of or bought wines En Primeur before, it represents an opportunity to buy wine while it is still maturing in barrel. Ageing for up to two years in cask is a costly exercise and traditionally the Bordeaux châteaux have enabled customers to invest in their wines before they are released, offering a discount in exchange for cash to finance the process. Wines from the 2019 vintage will thus be bottled in 2021 and will arrive in the UK in the 2nd half of 2022. Most wines sold in this way are destined for further ageing in the cellar, especially a producer’s Grand Vin, and would typically be drunk once they reach ten years old and beyond. Nowadays the châteaux also release wines that are enjoyable in their youth, and these Second Wines (and sometimes Third and even Fourth) are often made from younger vines, with higher amounts of Merlot instead of Cabernet Sauvignon, and receive less new oak. These can be a fraction of the price of the top wines and can be great bargains, particularly in strong vintages when there is a lot of excellent quality wine available.
For the first time Philglas & Swiggot is offering Bordeaux En-Primeur and the 2019 vintage is an exceptional launch offer. I was in Bordeaux during October 2019 wineries were already very pleased with the quality of the wines fermenting in their cellars. The annual En-Primeur tasting in April was cancelled and the wines have been reviewed away from the region for the first time. Reaffirming early opinions the vintage quality is exceptional and amongst the best 3 of the past decade, along with 2016 and 2010. Released into an uncertain economy, producers have surprised with steep discounts of 15-30%+ on the 2018s. I can’t recall a release this century when such a drop accompanies an exceptional vintage. If you are a regular collector or interested in starting a cellar then 2019 is a buyer’s year.CLICK HERE FOR THE CURRENT 2019 BORDEAUX LIST
The O’Brien family of Ireland (owners of Philglas & Swiggot since the end of 2018) have strong relationships in Bordeaux and are in fact the Irish agents for Château Lafite – arguably Bordeaux’s most illustrious estate, and one of the four original First Growths. Thanks to their connections we have secured parcels from some of the region’s most desirable addresses and also some of the greatest bargains. All prices are quoted in cases of 6 under bond (exclusive of duty and VAT).
Phélan Ségur – Cru Bourgeois - £180/6
Ormes de Pez – £105/6
Lynch-Bages – 5th Growth - £450/6
Lynch-Moussas – 5th Growth - £150/6
Haut-Bages Libéral – 5th Growth - £150/6
Lafite – 1st Growth – tbc
Duhart-Milon – 4th Growth – tbc
Léoville Las Cases – 2nd Growth - £840/6
Petit Lion – 2nd wine of Léoville Las Cases - £204/6
Léoville-Barton – 2nd Growth - £320/6
Langoa-Barton – 3rd Growth - £180/6
Gloria – unclassified - £150/6
Kirwan – 3rd Growth - £180/6
Fieuzal – Cru Classé - £150/6
Mauvesin Barton – unclassified - £78/6
In most cases it’s the best opportunity to buy at the lowest prices. In some cases the value of wines does drop after En-Primeur, but the excellent discounts this year make this unlikely for the 2019s. There is also the excitement of owning a wine that is still forming and to have a quantity available for drinking over many years, tasting its evolution and seeing its changes. In some cases it is also the best way to secure some wines that can be harder to find later on.
Our prices are as sharp as any in the market, in many cases better, a deliberate enticement to buy with us for the first time. Some of the wines we are offering here have sold out elsewhere already.
A popular En-Primeur strategy is to buy 2 cases of each wine, and in five years’ time sell one case to finance the next purchase.
If you’re interested in learning more or are keen to buy then email firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions and/or order, or leave a note in the comment box and we will get back to you. We have a report on the vintage and more specific information on each of the offered Châteaux.
Offers are on a first-come-first-served basis. Once you place your order, you will be swiftly invoiced. Payment in full is required to guarantee your purchase. Wines will be delivered to London City Bond during 2022 at which point you can continue to store with us or transfer to another location of your choice. Wine taken out of bond will incur an invoice for the prevailing duty and VAT rate. This is currently £2.23/bottle and VAT applies to your purchase price not its value.
Enjoy the release and enjoy your wine.
Justin Knock MW